Congrats to the 2019 Bull of the Woods Jim Williamson
I was born February 25, 1949 to Lee & Mary (Zender) Williamson Sr., the 2nd of 13 children. My dad was a partner in Zee Bros Logging & Trucking with my ten uncles.
I started working in the woods as soon as I turned 18, on weekends and the summer after graduating from Mt. Baker High School in 1967. One of my first jobs was helping my Grandpa, Jacob Zender Sr., setting up the road changes for the sky-line (Bullet) at Jackman Creek for Zee Bros.
I then spent 1 year at WWSC. I decided that wasn’t for me. I think I was about the only kid on campus with a butch haircut. So I went back to work for Zee Bros., spending most of my time on the landing, chasing. Back then, Zee Bros. were running a Wood-Tree side and a Steel Tower side, working for Scott Paper Co. out of Hamilton WA. Most of the work was out of Jackman Creek, Skagit County, and Boulder Creek., Whatcom County and being trucked to Everett WA.
In early 1969 Zee Bros. expanded their trucking fleet and I had the opportunity to break in driving log truck with my dad. I took my 1st log truck home on my 20th birthday, February 25, 1969. It was a 1962 Kenworth with a 250 Cummins motor, and a 5×4 transmission.
During 1968 I was working the landing with Lonnie Schroeder and he talked me into going to a Deming Logging Show meeting. Thanks Lonnie! This is how I became involved in the DLS and I will never regret that. What a great organization to be a part of. I have held every office, been on the executive board, and served on many commitees of the DLS. I have been a contestant, served as Foreman of the Best Load of Logs event for over 20 years, and was the first foreman of the Wrapper Throwing event. I have also received the Gold Axe and Silver Axe awards. I attended my first Deming Logging Show in 1963 with my dad & Great Uncle, Herb Crabtree, and some of my brothers. I have only missed one show, in 1975, as I was working in Fairbanks, AK for LTI Inc. at the time.
As President in 1983, I was approached by Ward Nelson, who suggested we put on an Oktoberfest as a fund raiser. We did, and over 35 years later it is still happening. Come and join us the 2nd Friday and Saturday of October for fun, food, and dancing. Thank you to the men and women who help keep this event going, especially Byron White.
In 1987, Earl Quinn and I took over the Garbage Detail for Log Show weekend. One thing I am still capable of doing with the help of our great crew. Thanks guys and gals!
During my career I was married for 10 years and have 3 great children, Toby (Shawna & Jack), Jenny, & Hollie (Gary), Grand kids Ghatlin, Layne, Shaye, Elliott, and Amelia.
I have spent over 20 years working for Zee Bros. One year working for Ed Maleng. I was a 24 year old kid and he trusted me with his new 1973 Kenworth log truck. He taught me a lot. I spent one year working in Fairbanks, AK for LTI. I was one of the original partners of Elk Ridge Log, and I had my own company, Jim Williamson Enterprises with 2 trucks and selling landscaping materials for about 4 years. I then went to work for Brett & Arlene Engholm for 8 years hauling logs, poles, and pilings. I drove Brett’s self loader for 2 years while Brett went logging. During this time we hauled a lot of poles and piling for Stella-Jones out of New Westminster BC, delivering poles and piling up and down the west coast including many trips to the midwest. Brett and Arlene were great to work for. I then worked for Boss Construction for a year driving side dump on the dig out for the homeland security building at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine WA. Then on to Ferndale Ready Mix & Gravel at the Kendall Pit. This was a nice job, right out my back door for 9 years. Last year I worked for J.I.J. Corp digging out High Creek, even closer to home. I have also helped load a few log barges and a ship at the Port of Bellingham. I got to work with some good old friends there.
I think that I am getting closer to retirement, not sure yet, as it is hard to let go. But I have 40 years of catching up to do around my place, which I enjoy. I have my wood pile, garden, grass to cut, and other stuff to keep me busy!
Being a part of the timber industry has been a great career and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have met and made new friends along the way.
I want to thank all the men, women & families who keep the Deming Logging Show going year after year. It has been a great joy being involved with all of you over the years. Thank you for honoring me as your 2019 Bull of the Woods. It is a great honor, and very gratifying to be able to follow in the footsteps of those Bulls who came before me.